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‘Rough sex’ defence to be outlawed in DA Bill

The so-called rough-sex-gone-wrong excuse used by some accused in murder trials
will be prohibited in the Domestic Abuse Bill, justice minister Alex Chalk has pledged.

He was responding after Jess Phillips, Labour’s shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, told the Commons’ Public Bill Committee: “When a woman is dead she can’t speak for herself … [but the accused could] simply say she wanted it.”

Chalk said: “It is unconscionable for defendants to suggest that the death of a woman is justified, excusable or legally defensible because that woman had engaged in violent and harmful sexual activity which resulted in her death, simply because she consented.”

The government’s approach will be set out by the report stage, the next stage in the Bill’s passage through Parliament, he added.

When the topic came up at an earlier Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson said: “We are committed to ensuring that the law is made clear and that defence is inexcusable.”

Under current legislation, the rough-sex-gone-wrong excuse can lead to the defendant facing the lesser charge of manslaughter.

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